Secretary Wayne Williams: “That’s the wonder of America”

Friends and families of immigrants taking the oath to become U.S. citizens record the moment. Secretary Wayne Williams is to the left. (SOS photo)
First Lady Melania Trump became a U.S. citizen in 2006.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams congratulated 50 immigrants from 28 countries on becoming Americans during a ceremony Monday in Centennial, telling them there are “very few limits as to what you can do.”

He told the story of Knavs family in Slovenia. Their daughter, who was born April 26, 1970, immigrated to the United States in 2001 and became a citizen five years later.

“In January she became the first lady of the United States,” Williams said. “So look to your left, look to your right. One of those people may be, in 11 years, first lady or first husband of the United States, just like Melania Trump.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen but that’s the wonder of America.”

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams: “That’s the wonder of America”

“You are now citizens of the greatest country … “

Rachel Kalonda, who immigrated from the Congo, proudly holds up her paperwork after becoming an American. (SOS photo)
Rachel Kalonda, who immigrated from the Congo, proudly holds up her paperwork after becoming an American. (SOS photo)

By Lynn Bartels and Julia Sunny

In a ceremony marked by elation and emotion, 79 people from 33 countries lifted their right hands Wednesday and become citizens of the country they love.

“I am so grateful to be in the United States,” said Rachel Kalonda, 48, who is from the Congo. “I feel so great. I start a new experience today.”

Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert shared her own experience with the new Americans. Her father is Iranian and she briefly lived in Iran as a young child.

Staiert encouraged the immigrants to register to vote so they can participate.

“It may not be the election that you’ve dreamed of voting in in November,” she said to laughter, showing that the newest citizens are up on current events. “Congratulations to all you. You now are citizens of the greatest country that you could be citizens of.”

Read more“You are now citizens of the greatest country … “

“I recited the words you all have said”

By Keara Brosnan

A new group of U.S. citizens oohed and aahed when they learned the government official in front of them had once been standing in their /zapaptos/babouche/shoes.

Judd Choate, director of elections for the Colorado secretary of state, and his two daughters, Mahlon and Jackie, during a citizenship ceremony in Centennial. (Photo by Keara Brosnan)
Judd Choate, director of elections for the Colorado secretary of state, and his two daughters, Mahlon and Jackie, during a citizenship ceremony in Centennial. (Photo by Keara Brosnan)

Judd Choate, elections director for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, welcomed 46 new citizens originating from 20 countries during an event at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ office in Centennial last week.

“I just want to tell you as a citizen how proud I am of all of you. This is an amazing accomplishment that all of you have come to in your life and I think it’s something you should feel proud about,” Choate said. “I think it speaks incredibly well of you that you’ve put in the time and dedication to get to this moment in your lives.”

He pointed to his two daughters, Mahlon Fox-Wallick, 15, and Jackie Choate, 9, who was born in Jiangmen, China.

Read more“I recited the words you all have said”

Secretary Wayne Williams welcomes new American citizens, talks about the importance of voting

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, listens as third graders from Graland Country Day School sing at today's naturalization ceremony at History Colorado.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, listens as third graders from Graland Country Day School sing at today’s naturalization ceremony at History Colorado.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams welcomed 49 new American citizens from 25 countries today at a naturalization ceremony at History Colorado.

“It’s an exciting day,” Williams told the immigrants, who clutched American flags and beamed for the cameras. “You have an equal right to participate with someone who might have lived here for 93 years. Your participation is what makes this nation different. The people get to make the decisions.”

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams welcomes new American citizens, talks about the importance of voting